Monday, November 10, 2008

Rest in victory: bombers

So they're finally dead now, the Bali Bombers. Many of my fellow libertarians oppose death penalty, but as The Jakarta Post says in its editorial today, they probably make exception this time.

I have just the opposite view. I always support death penalty, for its deterrence and disincentive effects. But I would make exception this time for those Bali bombers. Their goal is to die as martyr. So don't kill them, 'cause that would mean giving them what they want. Instead, torture them to the maximum level, but sufficient to keep them alive. Cut their fingers one by one. Chop their ears. And so on. But just don't kill them. Do this again and again. Invite the media.

Ah I guess I'm too late now. They have got their victory already.

Update: This is my post on similar issue at Diskusi Ekonomi sometime ago.


  1. Bang Aco...

    In my mind, the greatproblem is : How to divide the cause of criminality ( in this case is terrorism)?...

    In real case, it is hard to devide the criminal (bomber) with martyr motivation , the criminal (bomber) that caused by mental illness, or the criminal (bomber) for other possible reason...

    simply : Define the utility function of the criminals

    There are dillema here :
    1. should we make punishment based on how big is the loss, that caused by his action

    2. Or Should we make punishment to influence the utility function of the criminals ( In this case don't let the criminals got the death penalty)..

    I think the decision to death penalty is based in first reason...

    May be, it is bad for our law...
    It's penalty is not disinsentive since the utility function of the criminal is unique one...

    Or... Should the economist take a part in construct Law mechanism?

  2. In fact, Co, their lawyers were filing a case to the Constitutional Court to abolish death penalty, on the basis of 'inconsitutional.'

    So here's the paradox: 1) they don't agree with death penalty, means they don't see it as a jihad, 2) they still acknowledge the current constitution, means they are not really fighting for a sharia-based constitution.

  3. This is the thing that I don't get from reading many comments in Kompas or any media on this issue.

    I can understand if they really believe that these people did not instigate the bombing, hence blame the government for a false trial, and oppose the sentence. But apparently they are fully aware that these people did it, but insist that they are innocent as martyrs, and their act was justifiable.

    I am lost here.

  4. Ape and Rizal, yes, I am aware of those contradictions. In fact I think the whole process is a joke. First they denied accusation. Then they seemed proud that they did it. Then they claimed they were on jihad. But then their lawyers failed for death penalty annulment. Then they asked for "more humane mode of killing". What is this, a circus?

  5. Oh, I forgot that we talk about a proper punishment method that follows the incentive framework.

    Here is my proposal: instead of sending them before the executors, set them to a place that resemble a cafe, and blow the place using exactly the same type of bomb they blew.

    The difference is that in the latter, there is a chance that they don't die. In other words, it doesn't guarantee that their incentive to die as a martyr would always be granted.

    This should make the next martyr wannabes to think twice.

  6. Chopping fingers or ears, aka torturing, is something that Joker does. Not Batman. And I would prefer Batman to rule over my city, not Joker.

    I am all for severe punishment, but torturing would just mean that we are at least as bad as they are.

  7. I disagree with Aco on two points.

    The simple one: the torture. See Daniel's comment. Also, it would still make them martyrs (albeit a cut-up version) in the eyes of some.

    The second one: the "victory". No, they are not victorious. Yet. In fact we can still influence the outcome.

    Here's what to do. Make them known as what they really are: low-life criminals, coward murderers.

    From now on:
    - No one should ever give any credence to their "cause". They have no "cause". None. They're coward murderers.
    - No one should ever take the route of "condemning their actions but also understanding their motivations". Condemn their barbaric acts, full stop.
    - No one should ever make "yes, but..." arguments about what they did and why. They are narrow-minded killers, with no buts.
    - No one should ever glorify what they did. They humiliated their own families, their religion, their nation.
    - In fact they should be regarded as more cowardly and worse human beings than that serial killer guy in East Java who murdered his lovers.
    - Yes, they can be rightly called terrorists, let's not mince words here.
    - Now that they have been executed, let the records be that three low-life coward murderous terrorists have been justly put on trial and executed. They. Are. Not. Syuhada.
    - Any members of the media, NGOs, parliament, activists, celebrities (including Dorce) and general public who violate the steps above could do so at the risk of being labeled 'sympathizers of coward murderers'.

  8. Daniel, call me cruel, but for those bastards I'd ask Joker, not Batman.

    Anonymuous, set your sarc mode on. Now read that "victory" again. I admire your hatred againts those crooks. But why don't you put your real name? You hate cowards, don't you?

  9. Aco, don't get me wrong, I applaud your sentiment wholeheartedly, I know you were being sarcastic. But we can still take away their sense of victory that was given to them thanks to the generous help from some members of the press.

    On being anonymous: yes, I admit I am a coward too, but not the murderous type.

    I can only admire you for being openly outspoken on this.